Freight index up 1.3% in October

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The Freight Transportation Services Index rose 1.3 percent in October from its September level, rising after a one-month decline that brought the index to its lowest level since January 2004, the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported today, Dec. 12.

The October rise was the largest monthly increase since May 2006. At 109.5, the Freight TSI is down 3.2 percent from its peak of 113.1 achieved in November 2005.

The October increase pushed the freight index into positive territory for the year after having been down for the first nine months. For the first 10 months of 2007, the Freight TSI was up 0.6 percent. In 2005 and 2006, the index declined during the 10-month period.

The October Freight TSI was down 0.3 percent from its October 2006 level, the second consecutive October-to-October decline, and the largest October-to-October decline since 2000. The October index is at its lowest October level since October 2003, 0.6 percent lower than the October 2004 level and 0.5 percent lower than the October 2005 level. Despite the recent declines, the freight index has increased 5.8 percent in five years and 13.1 percent in 10 years.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by the for-hire freight transportation industries. The index — which consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight — includes historic data from 1990 to the present. The baseline year is 2000.